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ARRL Learning Center Features Two New Emergency Communication Training Courses


ARRL has released two new courses to train emergency communications (EmComm) operators for volunteering within the Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®). Both courses are within the ARRL Learning Center.

The Basic EmComm course is designed to get a new volunteer started. It provides basic knowledge and tools for any emergency communications volunteer and contains three modules and 11 topics, including required prerequisites. It's expected to take approximately 10 - 20 hours to complete.

The Intermediate EmComm course builds on the lessons learned in the first course and equips volunteer radio amateurs with the tools needed to thrive in the fast-paced environment of public service communications and to understand the legal rights and responsibilities of working with a served agency, as well as teach them and how ham radio fits into the broader incident command (IC) structure.  

The new courses replace the previous EC-001 and EC-016 programs, however, certificates of completion earned for the previous courses are still valid. "Training is not a one-and-done thing. Throughout my firefighting and emergency management career, we were constantly taking new courses to reinforce existing knowledge and introduce new concepts," said ARRL Director of Emergency Management Josh Johnston, KE5MHV. "Engaged volunteers should want to stay up to date on advances in the science of emergency communications. I'd even encourage veteran operators to take the new courses."  

In 2023, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) revised the Guide for National Emergency Preparedness to specifically include amateur radio. ARRL and FEMA entered into a new Memoranda of Understanding in May 2023 that outlined the importance of trained radio amateurs within the response ecosystem.  

"Amateur radio is as important as ever in emergency management," said Johnston. "The new courses will keep hams trained to serve effectively."  

The ARRL Learning Center at is a member benefit and features many ways to get the most out of your amateur radio license. The Basic and Intermediate EmComm courses are available to anyone with a free account. Users must log in to the ARRL Learning Center with this account, and functionality of the site relies on cookies being enabled.



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